February 17, 2015

Singing Time Game- Sing or DARE!

I have only done this game with the Senior primary and it was a complete hit! I'm sure it would work for Junior too.
So here's our Sing or Dare cans (you better believe I opened up a can of kidney beans and sweet corn on Sunday morning just for this activity, hehehe! :)
Inside each can are the sticks that have how we will sing the song (any song works!) OR their dare! Pick a "reverent helper" one at a time and have them decide "sing or dare?" Then they pick a stick out of that can and read aloud!
-Play Stop & Go while you sing ____ (You pick the song/verse)
Leave out 2 keywords in the 1st verse. (I would write them on the board)
Girls face left, boys face right while you sing.
Rub your belly, pat your head as you sing.
Stand on one foot while you sing, if you drop the other foot, sit down.
"Buzz" instead of sing the word "the"

-Tell us your favorite thing about primary!
-Name 3 latter-day prophets (if they need a hint say-- who was the first prophet? Who's our prophet now? Remember the one before him?
-Give everyone in your class a high 5!
-Give your teacher a hug :)
-Stand on your chair & shout "I Love primary!"
-Give the primary president a high five.
-Tell us the names of everyone in your class
-Hop on one foot around the podium 3 x!
-Lead the music for us! (Do a quick lesson on count, or just have them lead a triangle, or back & forth or have them spell their name in cursive ;)!)

HAVE FUN with this!! If you have multiple songs you are reviewing, you can just write the titles on the board and rotate through them!

Nursery Singing Time!

Just wanted to share my nursery routine with you because it works so well! We do a variety of church & non church songs but you could easily adjust this to church only if you wanted!

1. We have stars on a stick with their name on it. You could give each of them a star sticker to add each week if you wanted!
Twinkle, twinkle little star
I am like a star
"We can all be like bright shining stares when we share toys, are kind and smile at our friends!"
2. These are little monster finger puppets. They love them!
If you chance to meet a frown... Then I have them each show me their smiles as they hand back the monster!
3. Pencils & pie tins to make drums. They practice rhythm while we sing
Book of Mormon Stories
Then they hand in their pencil and we sing the wheels on the bus with the tin being their "wheel". We JUST do people, babies, mommies, daddies.
Then I show them a picture of the temple and tell them "our whole family rode the bus to a very special place, where is it??" The we sing
I love to see the temple
4. I found these adorable animal puppets at Ikea and couldn't resist they were like $3! So if there's still time we sing Old McDonald had a farm but "The prophet Noah had an arc" then you sing "and on his arc he had 2 turtles..." 

And who created all these beautiful animals? Jesus & Heavenly Father!

If there's extra time or they are particularly wiggly, we will do
Once there was a snowman, do as I'm doing or another fun easy song to go with the season or lesson. Then we close with the Prayer Song and say the closing prayer. Hope this helps!!

February 6, 2015

Valentine's Day Primary Singing Time

Just thought of a fun and super easy activity for Singing Time this week!! I have a heart puzzle and will hide each piece around the room (for Jr. primary I will have the shapes outlined on the board so they know exactly where to place the piece once they find it) they will read the statement and then pianist will play the first few notes for them to guess what song it is. 
Then we will sing. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy... and fun ;)

Here are the songs I'm doing, but it would be easy to adjust accordingly:

-We can show our love for Jesus by following His example (78)
I’m trying to be like Jesus

 -We know our Savior loves children (IKTMSLM)
I know that my Savior loves me

 -We can show our love for Heavenly Father by choosing the right (160)
Choose the Right Way

-We know God loves us because He Sent His Son (34)
He Sent His Son

-Someone else loves us that will never allow us to “go astray” (110)
Follow the Prophet

-I love you!

Pick your favorite song :)

February 3, 2015

Stuffed Bell Peppers!

These are one of my favorite meals! I am a pretty picky eater so I was nervous at first, but it is truly one of the yummiest things I've ever eaten! Here's how to make them!

Recipe makes 4 portions!
247 Calories, 7 g fat, 35 g carbs, 8 g fiber.

2 large red bell peppers
sea salt (to taste)
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup water
8 oz. organic tempeh, crumbled
7.5 oz (1.2 can) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp. raw pine nuts
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 Tbsp. Freshly chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. freshly chopped basil
1 Tbsp. raisins (I prefer golden!)

1. preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Halve peppers lengthwise, leaving stems intact. Scoop out seeds & place cut side up in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until they're soft, but still retain their shape
3.Put 1 cup of water on to boil in kettle or small pan.
4. While peppers are baking and water is boiling, heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat and saute onion & garlic until soft.
5. Add tempeh, tomatoes, and pine nuts to skillet and saute about 5-7 minutes.
6. Stir in rice, parsley, basil, and raisins. Remove from heat & season with a bit more salt & pepper.
7. Spoon mixture into peppers in the baking pan. Pour just enough boiling water around peppers to touch the base of each so they won't burn in the oven.
8. Bake for 15 minutes & ENJOY!!

January 31, 2015

He Sent His Son- Review & Game

We have already learned He Sent His Son and have been singing it for opening exercises a few times, but I am excited to review it, go over a few things and play a fun game with the Questions & Answers that go along with this song!

Would you want to go into the jungle with hungry tigers and darkness and deadly diseases without having a plan? Would you send a friend or family member into this jungle without giving them something to help them?
So it is with Heavenly Father. He sent us to earth to learn and grow and be tested to see if we would choose the right. But He knew life on Earth would get dangerous and hard at times. So He sent His son, Jesus Christ to help us, to show us the path and to guide us home.

Here is our "knowledge backpack!" inside we have things to visualize parts of the song. The knowledge we have about the Savior will help us always!!
"What's the first question?" See if kids can recite first line. Put up flipchart pics as we review the questions and see items to help us remember words.

Question: How could the Father Tell the world of love and tenderness?
DOLL: He Sent His Son a newborn babe, with peace & holiness.
Question: How could the Father show the world the pathway we should go?
SHOES: He Sent his Son to walk with men, on earth that we may know.
Question: How could the Father tell the world of sacrifice, of death?
NAIL in EASTER Egg: He Sent His Son to die for us, and rise with Living Breath!
Question: What does the Father Ask of us/What do the scriptures say?
SCRIPTURES: marked with Alma 7:24
Have big kid come read scripture, picture of Jesus as bookmark- show primary
Have Faith, have hope, live like His Son, help others on your way
Question: What does He ask?
Live Like His Son- nice picture of Jesus

Have 5 reverent helpers pull out the 5 items and hold them while we sing the song through 1x

Then play the Q/A game!!!
Left side of room sing questions, Right side sing Answers
Vanilla ice cream/Chocolate Ice cream
Other fun ways to sing Q/A HERE!

I must explain that our Senior primary is tiny! One week we had 3 kids and 4 visitors. Our visitors over doubled our primary!! If everyone is there, we have 9 kids. So we used to combine Jr/Sr but now that we are separate I'm excited to do more with the scriptures, ask them deeper questions and play more trivia type games!

Instead of doing the backpack full of items, we will dive deeper into the scriptures. So we will sing all the way through one time and have them count how many questions we sang (6)
Then I will have them put the questions and corresponding pictures in order. I'll probably give everyone a piece of paper from my flipchart to put it where it goes. Questions are written up/ Answers are GAK pictures.

When they have the first 3 questions and answers in order, I will ask if they know the next 2 Questions
What does the Father ask of us? What do the scriptures say?

Let's open the scriptures and find out. I'll have 3 envelopes hidden somewhere in the room (play golden note to find each one)
Scripture #1- Alma 7:24 What does the Father ask of us?
Faith, hope, charity, always abound in good works.

What does Charity mean? If they don't know, find scripture #2- Moroni 7:47
Pure Love of Christ- "Live Like His Son" (Replace word strip)

Scripture #3- Luke 10:25-37 and tell story of Good Samaritan. "Help others on their way"

Add pictures

Last Question: What does He ask? Repeat answer: Live Like His Son

Play same Q/A game as above- but have them move seats to different sides of the room as we change who sings which part :)

We also love to use the Dynamics Sticks to sing He Sent His Son!

1st Q/A quietly (mouse)
2nd Q/A stronger (singing note)
3rd Q/A loudly (lion)
4th & 5th Q/A faster (bunny)
Combined answer slow down (snail)
Last Q/A stronger (singing note)

January 22, 2015

Addition Games- Turning Frowns upside Down

I have to preface this post by saying that the day before my son was in tears with double digit math. "I hate it- I can't do it, It's too hard, I hate it..." He would just stare at his paper and refuse to try. Nothing short of extreme, but that's what you get with a spirited, artistic, passionate almost 8 year old boy ;)

When I first introduced double digit math, he "got it" right away. He's always been strong & confident in math, but somewhere along the way of worksheet after worksheet, he just kinda shut down and stopped trying. SO, I knew it was time to step in and make it FUN for him. I had to remind myself that our biggest goal with homeschooling this year is "happy learning". So here we go!!
Above is how you set up the white board, with corresponding cards. I cut notecards in half, and numbered them 0-9 in 3 different colors. (the x on the back of the cards just helps me keep the piles organized) I've thought of a ton of different math games we can play just with these sets of cards and a white board. We started with just double digits, so just the orange & blue boxes but then eventually the tens digit carried over and I decided to talk about triple digit addition (I WASN'T even planning on this since he was so turned OFF about doubles, but it came naturally during the game and then it all just "clicked" for him!!) He was thrilled to carry the one again to make a bigger hundred's number. I was shocked. It just goes to show how when you can get a kid to relax and ENJOY what he's learning, he will accept so much more information. This realization made me so excited!

So back to the game- choose 2 cards for each color and place them on the board. You can do this with just the ones digit, ones and tens (double digit) or even ones, tens & hundreds (triple digits). You can compare numbers, add, subtract, multiply, divide... possibilities are endless! 
Since we are working on addition, we just added the numbers up- remembering to carry the 1's when regrouping is needed.

I actually only wrote 0-5 in the green cards (hundreds digit) to prevent a fourth digit, but I didn't think about another carried 1 creating a number over 999- hehe, this is what happens when you make up a game as you go along-- but he didn't care and thought it was SO cool he added up to 1,030! Since my son needs some sort of competition, we took turns and whoever got the higher sum, got a point. First to 5 wins :)

So we played this game for a few minutes, then once he won (0-5, by the way!) we continued our math time with worksheets. I am using a combination of 3 different math books (trying to figure out which curriculum we like the best- Singapore, Encore & McGraw-Hill) so I staple together 2-3 worksheets and create a "math packet" each day. He loves when we do a MATH RACE-- he does his math packet while I clean the kitchen and whoever wins, gets to pick the next activity. He loves being "timed" in a way, but I don't want him to feel rushed, so this works out really well. Plus, my kitchen has been cleaned on a daily basis for a couple weeks now- which is kinda a world record for me. (please dont tell him but I purposefully let him win most days. 1. because a kitchen is never completely clean and 2. because if he is giving his all {and not complaining} I feel like he deserves to chose our next activity!)

I hope these ideas have helped a bit- I'm a big fan of games with learning! 

January 19, 2015

Primary Singing Time- UNO game

I'm in an awesome LDS Singing Time Facebook group and found this idea and download there. We had so much fun playing and singing, and will definitely do it again soon!
You can download and save the UNO board HERE. It prints perfectly 20X30, and costs $8 from Costco.
Then you just split your song into 4 parts, or choose 4 different songs to review. We were learning verse 2 of I Know that My Savior Loves Me.

Bring each color cards 1-3 and a few fun cards- skip, wild & reverse :)
If they get a blue 2, you sing the blue section 2 times. Red 3, you sing the red section 3 times :) If they get a 1, I sang UP to that part so if it's a red 1, we sang through the whole song one time. But you can do that or just that part- totally up to you :)

SKIP: sing the song, but skip the words: The, I, My, And. That was super fun & tricky! :)
WILD: roll the fun dice to see how you sing the whole song (we clapped to the beat)
REVERSE: sing verse 1!

Have fun! :)

When our Homeschooling Day Derails:

After 2 frustrating days in a row, I had to stop to pray and think about what to do when my son gets in one of those moods where he refuses to read or write another word. I know there's a fine line between letting your kid do whatever they want and having an overly structured day where we are both stressed to the max. There HAS to be a medium! So I took a step back and thought- what am I doing right? AND what am I doing wrong?

I realized that the hardest part of our day is the language arts story and worksheets. We do about 4 worksheets a day (That should normally take a child 4 minutes to complete) and it's like pulling teeth some days. He lOVEs science, art and animals, so I save those fun activities for last when the hard stuff is done, but then some days it takes him so long to do one worksheet because he's complaining about it for 45 minutes so we don't get to the fun stuff before brother gets home from school and we call it a day! (He's not like this all the time, but it's definitely something we are working through) As I was feeling frustrated about this I realize that THIS is one of the major reasons we are homeschooling. We have the freedom to study WHATEVER we want, and I am not subject to that checklist of worksheets, I can brake away from that and go at his pace. So I discussed this with our Gorman IST and now I have a lot more freedom with Language Arts. I haven't quite figured out what reading program we will use but I have a few to look up. As long as we are reading, journal writing and doing some grammar everyday, he will continue to learn.

That night I stumbled on a few fb groups and one of them asked this question:
What do you do when your homeschooling day derails? Answers such as:
-get silly
-bake a cake!
-go outside
-read on the couch
-watch a discovery movie
-call it a day
-play a game
-have a go noodle break: https://www.gonoodle.com
-yell "RECESS!" and shove the kids outside :)
-do a puzzle
-play an educational computer game
-do an art project
-do a journal in a jar entry
-have a sight word scavenger hunt
-take a workout break
-call a "time-out" (mom needs a break sometimes too!)

Reading these allowed me to take a step back and realize the solution isn't me yelling at him or threatening to send him back to school, or telling him to go to his room! (although, I admit I've done all of those) We have the freedom to do what we want to, take breaks when we need to, and my goal with him has always been from the beginning "happy learning" So if he's happy, and I'm happy, and we are doing something productive, we are good.

I also instigated a little token reward system which really helps with his motivation the last half of the week. I'll post about that soon :)

I Know That My Savior Loves Me- verse 2

I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to present verse 2 of I Know That My Savior Loves Me. For verse 1, I did the whole When, Where, How, Why... format. You can see my whole lesson HERE. I do have a word document for the first & second verse created, but it just didn't feel right this time and I really wanted to use pictures instead of words since I had separate Jr./Sr. primaries now.
So this is what I came up with this for Junior Primary:
Now I am Here in a Beautiful Place
Last verse we talked about Jesus and how he visited the Nephites "a long time ago" NOW we are talking about US in verse 2. We are still here on Earth in a beautiful place. WHAT are we doing here? Learning the teachings of Jesus. 
Sing together a couple times.

Did Heavenly Father send us to Earth and say, "good luck, see ya later?" Or did he send us with people that loves us?
RIGHT! He sent us to Earth with Parents & Teachers who would help guide us.
Parents and Teachers will help guide the way,
Lighting our path ev'ry day.
See this path? It's not dark. We are not alone. It is lit up, we know where to go.
-Sing a couple times, and then sing from beginning. Repetition is KEY!

Now, we talked about this in verse 1- WHY did Jesus bring the children around him? WHY did he talk to them, bless them, pray for them? 
Because He loved them. And he loves us now. We weren't there back then, but we can still feel His love for us NOW as we feel the Spirit.
Wrapped in the arm of my Saviors love
I feel His gentle touch.
Show the picture. See how His arm is around the boy? You can tell he loves him. He loves us too!
Sing together a couple times and then sing from the beginning.

Alright, now the next line is our part- our job while we are here on Earth. Listen carefully:
Living each day I will follow His way,
Show CTR sign- What does this mean? 
what are some things we can do everyday to follow His way and choose the right?
pray. read scriptures. go to church. be kind to siblings. help in family.

home to my Father above.
Where is our home? Where do you live?
at my house, in a hotel, at my grandma's. (a few answers)
Yes, that's right, that is our home NOW. But do you know where our REAL home is?
Heaven!! Our actions everyday will help us to feel our Savior's love and to make it back to Heaven. That's the whole reason we're here!

Sing a few times and then from the beginning. This all took about 20 minutes, so it was perfect timing. If you have more time, you can continue and sing the Chorus with the special ending a few times too. We will do that next week.
Next week I will be reviewing with the UNO game!!

For Senior Primary:
I gave them a piece of paper and had them draw pictures for each of those 4 parts.
As they drew, we sang. It worked out really for our small group- we only had 6 kids, so we talked as they drew and colored their pictures. 

Then we played the UNO game for the last 5 minutes. We could've played even longer, it was fun!
UNO Game lesson HERE!

Here are the print outs I used for this lesson:

images from Susan Fitch Designs

January 5, 2015

Golden Note with a Twist- Fun Singing Time Game!

My kids LOVE playing the Golden Note game in Singing Time- It's like hot & cold, where we hide a music note and as the finder is searching we sing louder when they get closer, and quiet when they are far away.

I needed an activity where we could sing the same song over & over so I added in a fun twist. Everytime they hid & found a note, the finder gets to put it on the board to create our own silly song for the pianist to play. The kids giggled & giggled as our pianist tried to play this non-sense song they created!

HERE Is the template I used to print these fun notes! Then I put magnet strips on the back :)

I Know That My Savior Loves Me- Singing Time!

I LOVE this new song we have for our 2015 program songs! I Know That My Savior Loves Me is so beautiful and such a special song. When my niece was baptized, she sang a solo of this song and the Spirit was so strong. Because she happened to be visiting us last week, I had her come up and sing for the kids and help me teach it line by line. (I'm afraid of singing in front of the kids unless I know the song REALLY well! I just don't have a great voice but I am trying to be braver!)

I introduced the song by sharing why it's special to me personally, then I talked about how we have clues- When, Where, Who, What, Why, How & Testimony. I had those papers on the board and put the others up one at a time as I taught the song. Lily and I would sing the first line and then have the kids repeat after us (Echo Chamber Style-- pretend we are in a cave and the children sings our echo)
WHEN: "A long time ago"
WHERE: "in a beautiful place"
WHO: "Children were gathered 'round Jesus"
I stopped and told them the story from 3 Nephi 17:11-24 in my own words and emphasized that the Savior felt SO much love for the children that he cried, and that it was very special. I also thought it was interesting that it says more than once that the words Jesus spoke could not be written because they were so sacred, and so special.

Then we sang those 2 lines together
WHAT: (what happened) "He blessed and taught as they felt of His love, Each saw the tears on His face."
WHY: ( LOVE-- He did this because He loved the children. If He loved the children back then, do you think he loves the children now?? Do you KNOW that Jesus LOVES you?!)
"The love that He felt for His little ones, I know He feels for me". We can feel His love as we feel the comfort of the Spirit.
Continue singing echo chamber line by line, then sing all together from the beginning

HOW: (How does this apply to us today? Were you there? Was I there? No. But this still applies to us today) "I did not touch Him or sit on His knee, yet Jesus is real to me"
TESTIMONY: (The chorus is our testimony of our Savior! We will sing it strong & bold!)
"I KNOW He lives! I will follow faithfully. My heart I give to Him, I know that my Savior loves me."

Sing all together! I have also posted fun follow up games if you have extra time or for the following week to practice!

I do have these all in a word document you can print out. Just comment here if you'd like me to email it to you!

December 2, 2014

Homeschooling So Far...

Well, it's been 2 days and so far, so good!!
I haven't seen my son this happy in a LONG time, and that's just another confirmation that we are doing the right thing. We are done with our work well before my kindergartner gets home, and still with enough time to squeeze in jobs, have food breaks, watch an educational movie, play a computer game, have some therapeutic drawing time, and all the other fun stuff that goes with learning!

When I first met with our homeschooling counselor, I had SO many questions, like how much work do we do each day, and how do I know if we are doing enough, how do I keep track of everything and how can I be sure that we stay on track?? I don't know if our homeschooling journey will be temporary but I'd hate to send him back to school behind just because I didn't know better!! So I was excited when she sent me a 3 week plan for us to accomplish and was able to break those into weeks, and then days. I prefer ripping out his worksheet pages and stapling them by day, then I place them into this file folder with our schedule stapled on the front and back covers. I love these pages by Passion Planner. I also have a master sheet to give to her that she will sign off once a month but I like this weekly organization system. I think it'll work well!

DAY 1:
My son smiled ALL day. While he was doing his worksheets, while he was reading, while he was drawing... he was like giddy to be doing "School" work in the playroom! We got a fair amount of work done, although I did notice that he takes a long time to get work done. Drags it on a bit, stops to chat about random facts, re-starts his sketches more often than I'd like, BUT this truly is one of the luxuries that comes with independent study!

Here's what we accomplished on our first day-
LANGUAGE ARTS: Learned about Fables, Read 5 fables, created his own fable & illustrated the picture (This took about 2 hours in all!)
Learned vocabulary words, wrote them on word strips, took a pre-test, hung up words on window in groupings of "wh" "ch" "sh" "th" I love doing things like this where he can hold the words and manipulate them on the board (window). I want to get some window markers since we don't have the wall space anywhere for a real board.
MATH: Took a math online placement test (this took about an hour, and he didn't like it because it was a lot of stuff he hasn't learned yet so he felt bad about it. I kept reminding him that it's ok, you haven't learned that yet, just guess, but it was hard not to want to explain it all to him!)
SCIENCE: Learned about Pompeii, watched part of the discovery movie (He will be going to the Pompeii museum this week!)
P.E: 20 minutes cardio (scooter riding to park!)
DAY 2:
We had a little resistance this morning. Not sure why, but it was raining, and I know he was tired. I do wish we had the luxury most homeschooling families have to sleep in a bit, but my 5 year old is still in school, so up at 6:45 we are!
We pushed through it though, and he changed his attitude once we finished the morning story & worksheet and I let him have some free reading time. A good book about Tigers always does the trick ;)
LANGUAGE ARTS: Read China Town and did 2 corresponding worksheets, alphabetizing worksheet, definition/matching worksheet.
MATH: addition & subtraction using the number line. He struggled a bit because he's used to his "Mad Minute" timed test, so he rushed through and didn't check his work. We'll have to work on taking his time and double checking answers.
RELIGION: read 2 chapters of the children's Book of Mormon
SCIENCE: planted seeds in an egg crate, Bearded Dragon report & drawing

November 30, 2014

Christmas Songs- Primary Singing Time

We were asked to sing Picture a Christmas (CS 50) for our sacrament meeting before Christmas, so it's time to start practicing! I'm printing these pictures: and laminating with magnetic backing so I can put up the pictures as we sing each part. (For sacrament meeting, I'll use a cookie sheet instead of a flip chart!) After we learn the song in primary, I'll pick reverent helpers to put each picture up as we sing that part. You could even print off a set for each class to do as we practice & sing!

We were also asked to sing Away in a Manger (CS 42) So we will learn that as well, and I'll do some fun things for the echos. Kids/teachers, boys/girls, left side/right side, junior primary/senior primary (we meet together)

Here are the other songs we will sing this month:
Christmas Bells (54)- with handbells! (maybe just for Senior Primary)
The Nativity Song (52)- make 4 squares on the board and have a couple kids come up and draw a picture for each line. Then play 4 corners by splitting the room in 4 parts and having them sing just one part each, then switch parts so each corner sings a different line each time we practice!
Jingle Bells- with pipe cleaners bent in circle with bells. Great for nursery too!
He Sent His Son (34) (from last year's program so they know this already. I love to use Dynamics sticks to show when to sing quietly, slowly, loudly- really helps to get feeling into the song! I use animals- bunny, snail, lion and they know what it means)
Jesus Said Love Everyone (61) quick & easy. Another fun one for 4 corners, or just 4 pictures to represent each line.
Once there was a Snowman- with actions, of course!!

5 Great Healthy Holiday Gifts

Here are some GREAT ideas for Christmas gifts {for yourself or} loved ones. We just ended our Pennies for Pounds group where we invested some change each day as we made good choices for our health. The timing is perfect since we are enjoying Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals this weekend!

I've found the best way to be successful in reaching my fitness goals is to have a plan and some fun ways to keep myself motivated. I LOVE our support groups and excited about our next December group of women. It's going to be awesome!

1. SHOES! Here's a great article about finding the best sneaker for your type of workout: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/…/runnin…/sneaker-guide-2014/ I'm a huge fan of the NIKE FREE:http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pw/free-shoes/brkZ9zm…
2. WORKOUT CLOTHES: If there's anything that motivates me most to workout, it's finding a new outfit to sport while I do it {and taking a selfie before & after :)} I love fabletics and your first outfit is $25 when you get a membership! They do also have some Black Friday specials going on this weekend. http://www.fabletics.com/invite/49863983/
3. NEW FITNESS PROGRAM: I'm one of those people that walks into the gym and goes, "um, what do I do now?" Unless I have a scheduled class, I'm clueless. I LOVE having a routine that is fool-proof, and I can follow each day and KNOW I am going to get the results I want. We have programs for new moms to slim down, tone up, build muscle, bulk up... pretty much whatever you want to do, we can help you achieve those goals. Contact me if you want some to help you identify your goals and find a good program to match. In 25-45 minutes a day, I can help you get a plan and stay on track!
4. SHAKEOLOGY: This is my favorite "stay fit, feel good" trick and I want to share with you. Shakeology is a meal replacement shake with 9 servings of fruit & veggies, and TONS of superfoods to help your body function at its best. Helps with healthy weight loss, increases energy, improves digestion and lower cholesterol. It's great for diabetes because it has a low glycemic index, and will be your healthiest meal of the day. I love how fast it is to mix up and that I know I am getting all the nutrients I need to look & feel my best. You can get a 30 day supply or start out with just a 7 day trial- just message me for details --or click on the 7 day trial link on the right----->
5. NINJA Blender: 
I use my NINJA everyday and LOVE it!! I love being able to just switch out the lids and GO... $30 off this weekend only thru QVC.

Alright, those are my ideas for healthy Christmas gifts!!
Remember this is Black Friday weekend so you can score some awesome deals right now!

November 17, 2014

WHY I am choosing to homeschool my son:

So I'm not sure if anyone reads my non-craft related posts, and I don't want to get too personal here BUT I have so many thoughts and just have to sit and type them out, whether someone is listening or not!!

Tyler is my 7 year old. He is in second grade and I will be pulling him out of his class to homeschool him starting next week. I've never thought I would make this choice but I've had enough of what is going on at school. Tyler is super creative. He has tons of energy and loves learning. He thrives when given a creative task and special responsibility, loves easily and is kind to everyone. Even the bully that punched him every day for 2 weeks last year until he got kicked out of school. Even the teacher that is overstepping her authoritative boundaries and making school a miserable place for my son.

So here are some of the incidences we've dealt with:
Note sent home after the first week of school: "Tyler has trouble focusing, paying attention and is bothersome to children around him"
Makes noises disrupting classmates, taps pencil even in one on one instruction.

FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL: Loss of recess for not being in his spot in line #19, girl in front of him (#18) and girl behind him (#20) were in the bathroom.

After the first week of school I asked for a meeting with her to see what was going on and we discussed some ideas to help him with a reward system and daily post it's with a :), :l or :( depending on how the day went. Here are the notes on our sad face days, and then my son's account of what really happened:

:( Daily report: "Incomplete Classwork"
because he & another child were talking in class, Tyler got removed from his desk, had to sit on the ground and couldn't finish work. Other student (in the advanced academic group) had no punishment

:( Daily report: "Tattling"
2 boys were splashing water in the bathroom and playing under the stalls. Obviously she was too annoyed to hear what happened.

:( Daily report: "Hitting"
another boy hit Tyler, he hit back. That boy hit him again. WHEN they were benched from recess because the other boy kicked him the day before, and he kicked back.

We discussed a reward system that she would help with in class, yet he hasn't "earned" anything. He got a "caught being good" award outside of her class for picking up trash, and she never gave it to him. Instead, she is choosing "4 star listeners" and "advanced academic students" to earn those rewards. Because obviously they deserve it more.

This teacher has suggested in one of our conferences that we should probably have him checked out "medically" to see if there is some learning disability going on... let's just rule it out. She worded this so nicely, I'm sure she's trained to do so. BUT at the same time, this sends my brain whirling in a million different direction. Does my child have ADD, ADHD? He DOES have a lot of energy. He DOES get distracted easily. He DOES have trouble holding still for long periods of time... but then again, he's a 7 year old boy. And I forgot to shave one leg last night in the shower... so I must have ADD too.

So how much of this is a personality clash between a super uptight, my-way-or-the-highway, highly un-flexible teacher, and a creative, energetic, spirited, outside-of-the-box thinker?? Or is there a serious issue going on? He is behind on reading, yet all this focus is on his "behavior" is taking away from the effort we should be putting into his education. And then after she tells me how behind he is in reading, she tells me that she isn't as worried for him academically, as she is "emotionally, and socially" and then the following words were, well I'm late for our next conference, so thanks for coming in!

After MANY weeks of replaying our discussions, working in the classroom to get a feel of the environment and dynamics, lots of tears, prayers and worries, I've decided enough is enough.

I'm not willing to let my son's crucial years where he decides if he likes school or not, where he tries to see if he fits in with the good kids or the bad kids determine his outcome in life. Maybe I'm over-thinking it, but I actually don't think so. Maybe I'm way over my head here to decided to homeschool him with a 5 year old and a 2 year old and a coaching business. But I can't deny the miraculous ways that the Lord has answered my prayers and my pleadings to protect my son.

I have experienced so many answers and revelations that I could create a whole new post about the ways the Lord answered my prayers, and some of them are so intimate and special I should just keep them in my private journal, but He was kind enough to answer me in many different ways- through the kindness of friends and strangers, through mere coincidences that put me in the right place at the right time to hear just what I needed to hear, through the scripture stories, through commercials on the radio, through my own thoughts and urges. And when I question my decision again (for the 24th time because that's how I am), I have a peaceful feeling to take the next step. Even though I am pretty much walking off a cliff blindly, I KNOW He will lay down a stone for me to step on. I know He will be present in our daily lessons. I know He will continue to answer my prayers as we make some serious decisions about if we should test him or not. I know He will lead me and guide me and walk beside me as we follow in Faith.

November 8, 2014

Pass the Pumpkin, Sing in Round: Primary Singing Time

If you missed our Thankful Turkey lesson, you can find it HERE!
Here's another fun lesson for November!!

Pass the Pumpkin:
We sing I am Glad for Many Things (151), it really only takes a minute to learn, it's so easy! I have 
"I am Glad for" written on the board before they come in.
We sing it a few times and pass a baby pumpkin as we sing. When the song ends, whoever it lands on will say one thing they are thankful for. Write it on the board! Once you have done this 3 times in a row, you will have 3 things to substitute in the song for "many things"
One example is:
I am Glad for
Lego Toys,
Food to Eat,
and My Mom
I am Glad for many things
That are mine today!

Then depending on how much time you have, do it again!!
The second verse is great because we talk about saying Thank You (which is what Thanksgiving is all about!) You could pass the pumpkin again and have them name one way they can "say" thank you. Like, help my mom, say my prayers, write a letter...

Sing in Round:
We learn For Health and Strength (21) line by line.
I use these pictures to help me teach the words as well as the word strips so they know what the 4 parts are for the round! 
1. We talk about our healthy bodies, and all the things we can do with them. Have them jump, turn around, wave their arms, stomp their feet.
2. We talk about how we have food to eat each day, and not everyone around the world has that blessing.
3. We talk about what "praise" means and how we can thank the Lord through prayer
4. We talk about how the "Lord" could mean God or Jesus but we can thank them both for the blessings we have!
This is super fun and the kids love singing all together. I split up the room into 4 parts (you could have them go in four corners if you want!) Then rotate the pictures so they each get to do each part! I think we sang 3 times in a row, then of course the last group will do a little solo once the other groups end :)

Have FUN!!

Thankful Turkeys- November Singing Time

 I love this time of year, when the Primary program is over and we get to start doing holiday stuff!!
So last week, I printed up a piece of paper for all the kids to fill out. It said:
I am thankful for:
My favorite primary song is:

Then I incorporated these songs in my lesson! I made a list of the things they were thankful for and was able to incorporate ALL the things they listed in this lesson. Then I tried to use most of the songs they chose as well, but you could always just save that for another day. It was cute because some kids answered with: Lego toys, bunk beds, kitty cat, food. So I clumped the others* into "Many Things" and other kids did temples, Christ, church, scriptures... topics that are easy to pick a song with. It was fun to read through them.

So basically, I cut out these pieces to make the turkey and feathers, and laminated each piece separately. Then I put some painters tape on the back to label the feathers so I can switch it up each year.
Last year I used their own words for what they were thankful for, but this year in a time crunch, I just made up my own. Here are some topics & songs you could sing:

Family: The Family is of God or Families Can Be Together Forever 188
Scriptures: Book of Mormon Stories 88, Scripture Power
Jesus: I'm Trying to be like Jesus 78, He Sent His Son 34
Temples: I love to see the Temple 95
Heavenly Father/Earth/World/Animals: I am a Child of God 2, My Heavenly Father Loves Me 228, Popcorn Popping 242, Birds in the Tree 241
Healthy Bodies: Head Shoulders, Knees & Toes 275, Hinges 277
Primary: Here we are Together, I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ 77
Prophets: Follow the Prophet 110
Other*: I am Glad for Many Things 151
This song is SO easy and SO fun- if you don't do it already, I'd strongly suggest it!! You can list these "many things" on the board, like "food to eat, lego toys, and my bed" and sing that instead of "many things, many things, many things." It's a fun way to continue singing and could take up as much or as little time as you have!
With the second verse, we talk about how important it is to say Thank You and that's what Thanksgiving is all about!!

Hope you enjoy doing this lesson!! Here are a few more Thanksgiving Lessons I've done in November:
Pass the Pumpkin, Sing in Round

November 5, 2014

Pennies for Pounds- investing in your health (FREE Support Group!)

I'm trying something **totally different** but super excited about it!!
I hear a lot of people say their budget is what holds them back from focusing on their health, especially this time of year. I talk to a lot of moms who give everything to their kids and have little left for themselves.
What if you are able to receive the support, tips & resources you need to become healthier for FREE, and in a way investing "pennies" into your health "fund"

Here's how it works:
In our private *Pennies for Pounds* support group, you do whatever workout you want to do. Dust off those DVD's and commit to a workout a day. If you don't have a routine to follow, I will provide a plan for you with no equipment needed. 
I will also provide a clean eating meal plan for you to follow so you have the whole {fitness + exercise + support} part of the equation covered!

--You miss your workout? Throw some change in the jar
--Have a cheat meal? Empty your pockets
--{We weigh in once a week.} Loose a pound? Add a dollar to the jar. 
Because we are not "punishing" ourselves, 
we are also rewarding ourselves for our success too!

At the end of the challenge, you get to use the money in your jar to invest in something for your health! It could be a new pair of shoes, a yoga mat, the fitness program you've always wanted, new exercise outfit or Shakeology... anything health/fitness related!

What do you think?? Who's in? Comment here or message me if you want to be a part of this!!